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Senran Kagura photo
Senran Kagura

Senran Kagura 2: Deep Crimson out now for 3DS

Hakuna matata
Sep 15
// Kyle MacGregor
Senran Kagura 2: Deep Crimson, the latest entry in Marvelous and XSEED Games' bawdy action franchise, is now available for Nintendo 3DS in North America. The new release is available via the eShop for $39.99, as well as ...
Story of Seasons photo
Story of Seasons

Nintendo publishing Story of Seasons in Europe

Better late than never
Sep 15
// Kyle MacGregor
Story of Seasons, the latest actual "Harvest Moon," is coming to Europe, courtesy of Nintendo. The platform holder just revealed plans to bring Marvelous' latest farming sim across the pond in Q1 2016, following the titl...
Senran Kagura 3DS photo
Senran Kagura 3DS

Senran Kagura 2: Deep Crimson launches September 15

August 27 in the UK and Europe
Aug 19
// Kyle MacGregor
Senran Kagura 2 will release on September 15 in North America, XSEED announced today. The Nintendo 3D-exclusive beat-'em-up will be available for $40 via the Nintendo eShop or as part of the $50 boxed "Double D Edition," whic...
Senran Kagura photo
Senran Kagura

You can grab Senran Kagura 2: Deep Crimson in Europe next month

It's almost time to fight some boobs
Jul 30
// Laura Kate Dale
Senran Kagura 2: Deep Crimson is one of those games that probably know full well already if you're interested in buying or not. My job is to let you know when you can do that, if you want to do that. The newest Senran Kagura ...

Marvelous photo

Valkyrie Drive reveals new Weaponized Lesbians

New screenshots and character art
Jun 30
// Kyle MacGregor
Marvelous has unveiled a few new characters for Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni, the new project from Senran Kagura creator Kenichiro Takaki, which has been colloquially referred to as "Weaponized Lesbians" around these parts for r...
IA/VT Colorful photo
IA/VT Colorful

Senran Kagura dev's new game isn't coming west

Music licensing to blame
Jun 28
// Kyle MacGregor
Marvelous' upcoming rhythm game IA/VT Colorful isn't likely to receive a localization.  Speaking with Siliconera in a recent interview, producer Kenichiro Takaki, best known for his work on the Senran Kagura se...
XSEED photo

Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven ascends to 3DS this June

Comes with bonus soundtrack in America
Apr 22
// Kyle MacGregor
Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven would be the Game of the Year if we handed out awards to games based on the wit and cunning of their subtitles. Alas, we do not. But we definitely see what you did there, XSEED. So, kudos. The Ni...

Contest: Win a signed copy of Story of Seasons

Apr 02 // Kyle MacGregor
Contests Official Rules No Purchase Required to Enter or Win1. Eligibility: contests are usually provided by sponsors who, due to customs and shipping costs (yay budgets), often limit participation to individuals who are legal residents of the fifty (50) United States (unless otherwise stated) and are at least 12 years of age. We encourage our overseas friends to be super sneaky and make a friend in the United States who can receive your prize, and then you two figure out the customs/logistics. Be cautious about who you trust, obviously. Employees of, their advertising or promotion agencies, those involved in the production, development, implementation or handling of Contests, any agents acting for, or on behalf of the above entities, their respective parent companies, officers, directors, subsidiaries, affiliates, licensees, service providers, prize suppliers any other person or entity associated with the Contests (collectively “Contest Entities”) and/or the immediate family (spouse, parents, siblings and children) and household members (whether related or not) of each such employee, are *not* eligible and will be fired and publicly beaten if are caught participating. All U.S., federal, state and local and regulations apply.2. Agreement to Official Rules: Participation in the Contest constitutes entrant’s full and unconditional agreement to and acceptance of these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsor, which are final and binding. Winning a prize is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth herein.3. Entry Period: The start and end dates/times of each Contest (the “Entry Period”) will be posted on the applicable Contest site.4. Entry: To enter a Contest, follow the instructions on the Contest site. Submission will result in one (1) entry. The number of times you can enter the Contest will be posted on the applicable Contest site. The use of any agencies or automated software to submit entries will void all entries submitted by that person.5. Drawing: Unless otherwise specified in the contest details above, we will select the names of the potential winners in a random drawing of all eligible entries received during each Entry Period. The number of winners to be selected in a specific Contest will be posted on the applicable Contest site. The odds of being selected as a potential winner depend on the number of eligible entries received during the Entry Period. Potential winners will be contacted via email and will be asked to provide their full name, age and mailing address within a specified time period. If a potential winner does not respond within the timeframe stated in the notification email, we may select an alternate potential winner in his/her place at random from all entries received during the Entry Period. Limit one (1) prize per household per Contest.6. Requirements of the Potential Winners: Winners will be notified by the e-mail address associated with their account on and/or receive a Private Message on or through a Twitter Direct Message/Facebook message. Winners have five (5) days from the original message alerting them of their winnings to respond and claim their prize. If no winner comes forward within five business days, the prize will be forfeited and raffled again where Destructoid's hardcore fans are most active (forums/community blogs/facebook group).7. 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General Conditions: In the event that the operation, security, or administration of the Contest is impaired in any way for any reason, including, but not limited to fraud, virus, or other technical problem, the Sponsor may, in its sole discretion, either: (a) suspend the Contest to address the impairment and then resume the Contest in a manner that best conforms to the spirit of these Official Rules; or (b) award the prizes at random from among the eligible entries received up to the time of the impairment. The Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual it finds to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Contest or to be acting in violation of these Official Rules or in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner. Any attempt by any person to undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest may be a violation of criminal and civil law, and, should such an attempt be made, the Sponsor reserves the right to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law. The Sponsor’s failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision. In case of a dispute as to the owner of an entry, entry will be deemed to have been submitted by the authorized account holder of the screen name from which the entry is made. The authorized account holder is defined as the natural person who is assigned to an e-mail address by an Internet access provider, online service provider, or other organization responsible for assigning e-mail addresses for the domain associated with the submitted e-mail address.9.Release and Limitations of Liability: By participating in the Contest, entrants agree to release and hold harmless the Contest Entities from and against any claim or cause of action arising out of participation in the Contest or receipt or use of any prize, including, but not limited to: (a) unauthorized human intervention in the Contest; (b) technical errors related to computers, servers, providers, or telephone or network lines; © printing errors; (d) lost, late, postage-due, misdirected, or undeliverable mail; (e) errors in the administration of the Contest or the processing of entries; or (f) injury or damage to persons or property which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from entrant’s participation in the Contest or receipt of any prize. 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All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, entrant’s rights and obligations, or the rights and obligations of the Sponsors in connection with the Contest, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules (whether of the Commonwealth of Virginia or any other jurisdiction), which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the Commonwealth of Virginia.11. Contest Results: To enter the contest without needing to buy/sell anything or request a written copy of the name of the winners, send a self-addressed stamped envelope (stating the specific Contest you are requesting the winners for) to Contest Winners 580 Market Street #59757 San Francisco CA 94104. We run many contests, so please be specific in what you are requesting. Winner requests must be received within thirty (30) days from the end date of the applicable contest (they're always posted on our site though). Winners are usually posted the day following the contest on our contest section.  Lastly, Destructoid has the right to kick your ass and take away your prize if you are a total chode, so be cool and don't kick any puppies on your way to victory. Have fun with our contests and be a good sport when you win or lose. Remember: First you get the power, then you get the money, then get the baby.
Story of Seasons contest photo
Courtesy of XSEED Games
[Update: The contest has ended and the winner is projectnew! Congratulations!] Story of Seasons is now available on Nintendo 3DS in North America, and we're celebrating its release with an awesome giveaway. The lovely fo...

Review: Story of Seasons

Mar 31 // Brittany Vincent
Story of Seasons (Nintendo 3DS)Developer: MarvelousPublisher: XSEED GamesReleased: March 31, 2015MSRP: $39.99 The alternative moniker isn’t indicative of a “reboot” of the games or anything like that, however. It simply represents the fact that the Harvest Moon name has changed hands from previous publisher Natsume to XSEED Games. Developer Marvelous has crafted a game that’s much more deserving of the title than Natsume’s recent effort Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley, and fans have something meaty and entertaining to look forward to within. But first, a bit of a history lesson. Harvest Moon's life began on the Super Nintendo, where it was known as Bokujō Monogatari, which roughly translates to "Farm Story." It was a novelty then as it is now: a game where you spend your days taking care of cows and harvesting crops as the seasons gently roll through spring, summer, fall, and winter. The goal, ultimately, is to build a house, woo a girl (it was always a girl in the early days), and settle down into a peaceful, pastoral existence.  [embed]289757:57980:0[/embed] Story of Seasons is an interesting amalgamation of what made these games exciting upon their descent into western culture interesting back when I was younger and continues to make them addictive in a modern setting. As it happens, there’s also an astronomical amount of things to do. This has to be the biggest, most sprawling farm sim game related to Harvest Moon I’ve seen so far, in terms of both management aspects and activities to perform. Harvest Moon: A New Beginning is similar in many ways, but it seems Story of Seasons has expanded on it significantly.  Luckily the beginning of the game isn’t so complicated, only offering you the chance to figure out who you want to use as your avatar throughout your adventure. It’s good to begin with something you can manage that’s as simple as deciding who you want to be. You can choose to play as a male or female farmer, both tasked with heading to the sleepy Oak Tree Town, in dire need of a skilled farmer to care for one of the town’s sprawling ranches. You’re neither skilled nor a farmer when you start out, but that’s what makes Story of Seasons so exciting: throwing caution to the wind and heading out to pursue a new profession in an unknown place to help a town in need. There are plenty of other farmers in town to help show you the ropes and ensure you know all there is to know before you plant your first seeds. Together, all four of you can hopefully restore Oak Tree Town’s Trade depot back to its former glory, with the right amount of crops and care. There’s a long road ahead of you, though, and a ridiculous amount of training required before you can even set foot in your own farm. It’s off to Eda, longtime resident of Oak Tree town, to act as your mentor as she prepares you to plant, water, and harvest crops, raise farm animals, how to use and upgrade tools used around the farm, and important information like your Health and Stamina. It’s a wealth of information that can feel like a slog to get through at first, and can feel overwhelming at first. This is absolutely not a fast-moving game. You’ll need some patience to take in all of the little things that you’ll find truly add up by the end of your farming internship, but sticking to it feels extremely rewarding. That’s where Story of Seasons tends to differ from Natsume’s “traditional” Harvest Moon games the most. Rather than arriving at a farm and getting started immediately, you’re given extensive training before allowed to set foot in a farm that’s in any way yours. Even your starter area is adjacent to Eda’s, as if the folks at Marvelous don’t quite trust you with your own area yet, supplanting new features and other additions as you go along. Unlike similar titles in the past, you’ve got more to worry about than if you watered your crops for the day or if your character is looking a bit haggard while tending to crops out in the rain. Your character’s Health and Stamina play central roles in keeping your farm efficient and productive, and there are plenty of ways to satisfy both requirements beyond simply going to bed. For instance, you can eat a small meal, head to a hot spring, or rest in order to ensure your health is restored, but losing it is another deal entirely. This time around even if you do something as small as walk outside during a torrential downpour, you’ll see your health drop, just as you would if you decided to stay up late in-game. In this, it lends a more realistic lilt to farming life. Along with the stamina points, represented by the number of hearts your farmer has on-screen, it communicates the message that farmers are still fragile, often weary human beings who need time and training to work themselves to the bone and keep themselves healthy. Luckily, the two difficulty modes (Normal and Seedling) offer options for players looking to keep things light. Seedling Mode finds stamina consumption levels lowered by 50%, which makes for a completely different experience when starting out, as do the positive multipliers on store items, prices, stock, and more. New players may consider Seedling Mode as a viable option when becoming acquainted with Story of Seasons, as there are alterations between that and Normal Mode that are indeed a boon for newbies looking to get started quickly and with fewer frustrations. Speaking of making things easier, farming feels much more convenient than before. You can work with a 3x3 area when working with watering, planting, and the like, and you can hold down your action button while walking to continue with what you’re doing. If you want to water crops you can keep walking around. If you’re planting seeds, your character will scatter them in the air. It all feels quite intuitive. Controls work with you rather than against you. The only way you might falter is if you find yourself struggling with the in-game tasks constantly thrown at you, and the multitude of extra assignments available to take on. Managing your farm becomes simpler the more you learn about doing it, but there are still several things to keep track of, including your farm house, animals, the crops you’re tending to, and special sheds that can be used to convert raw materials like dairy products and the like into useable food items like cheese or yogurt. You can make clothing, pottery, seasonings, engineer seeds and crops, and more at the Maker Sheds, all of which are extremely important when your farm is up and running proper. There’s a large variety of crops to keep up with as well, including special Super Mario Bros. crops like Super Mushrooms and Fire Flowers. These are interesting, cheeky additions that feel right at home on the 3DS, and when you harvest Super Stars to ensure the crops you have remain fresh. Aside from working on the farm, there are multiple interactions you’ll have with villagers and other NPCs. Some of these can lead to special relationships that can end in marriage and children, and others will give you gifts, interact with you, and befriend you as you make your way as a farmer in Oak Tree Town. These help keep things light, but also act as reprieves from the toil of day-to-day proceedings of planting seeds, harvesting crops, exporting goods for sale, and ensuring your farm remains profitable. Much like real life, offering a chance to interact with others, build relationships, and participate in events and activities beyond that of simple hard work provides several benefits. You’ll find as a player that you’ll appreciate these personable interactions as much as the satisfaction of cultivating a successful farm. Story of Seasons looks fantastic, feels great, and offers an overabundance of things to do and places to see. It’s a farmer’s paradise, though its almost excruciatingly slow tutorial and internship will take a large amount of patience to get through if you’re to see all the game has to offer, and there is a lot. Expect to clear your calendar for this excellent portable farming sim, as you’ll be spending several hours turning a profit to impress the townsfolk of Oak Tree Town, your future husband or wife, or even your friends playing alongside you.
Story of Seasons  photo
For every sim, there is a season
As a fan of both casual and intermediate simulation and farming games, the Harvest Moon series has always been a mainstay for me. I grew up on several different iterations of the Natsume-published entries beginning with Harve...

Valkyrie Drive photo
Valkyrie Drive

Valkyrie Drive is Marvelous' next Senran Kagura

Kenichiro Takaki's latest looks like more of the same
Mar 30
// Kyle MacGregor
Marvelous recently announced Valkyrie Drive, a three-pronged multimedia project about teenage girls who can transform into weapons. Now that's taking objectification to a whole new level. In addition to an anime series a...
Valkyrie Drive photo
Valkyrie Drive

Marvelous, Senran Kagura creator launch new series

Valkyrie Drive multimedia project announced at AnimeJapan
Mar 22
// Kyle MacGregor
Marvelous is launching a new franchise that appears to be more salacious and sexually-charged than Senran Kagura, if that even sounds possible. The publisher revealed a new mixed media project at this weekend's AnimeJapan ex...
Senran Kagura 2 photo
Senran Kagura 2

Senran Kagura 2 bounces westward this summer

Kenichiro Takaki continues to wrap the world in happy boobs
Mar 10
// Kyle MacGregor
Once upon a time, XSEED seemed pretty cagey about publishing the Senran Kagura games. Nowadays the plucky localization studio can't seem to bring the danged things over fast enough. Yes, you probably read the headline where ...
Marvelous photo

Senran Kagura creator's IA/VT Colorful drops in June

Marvelous rhythm game available to import from June 25
Feb 16
// Kyle MacGregor
Vocaloid rhythm game IA/VT Colorful has a new Japanese release date, Famitsu reveals. The new project from Senran Kagura creator Kenichiro Takaki is now set to debut June 25 on PlayStation Vita. Marvelous initially planned to...
Lord of Magna photo
Lord of Magna

XSEED brings Lord of Magna west this spring

It's officially official
Feb 12
// Kyle MacGregor
A localization of Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven is in the works, XSEED just confirmed. Expect the Nintendo 3DS strategy role-playing game to arrive on western shores sometime this spring.
Senran Kagura photo
Senran Kagura

Senran Kagura: Estival Versus gets a whole new batch of voyeuristic screenshots

I wasn't kidding, was I?
Jan 26
// Brittany Vincent
There's been a serious lack of Senran Kagura on Destructoid over the last few months, and I'm here to resolve that problem with a batch of screenshots from Senran Kagura: Estival Versus. The latest images include Asuka, Ikaru...
XSEED teasers photo
XSEED teasers

XSEED hints at the games it's localizing this year

Jan 10
// Kyle MacGregor
Those wily folks at XSEED are up to no good again, craftily teasing the Internet with crafty teasers. The localization studio shared a New Year's card via Facebook yesterday, one that foreshadows a handful of unannounced proj...
Rune Factory 4 photo
Rune Factory 4

Rune Factory 4 finally arrives in Europe next week

Dec 04
// Kyle MacGregor
Rune Factory 4's journey to Europe has been a long and winding road. At one point, when developer Neverland went bankrupt and closed its doors, it looked like the role-playing game might never release in PAL territories. Luck...

Review: Senran Kagura: Bon Appétit!

Nov 12 // Brittany Vincent
Senran Kagura: Bon Appétit! (PS Vita)Developer: MeteorisePublisher: XSEED GamesReleased: November 11, 2014MSRP: $14.99 Bon Appétit! gathers the entire Senran Kagura cast for a cooking competition set up to offer the winner a scroll that can grant a solitary wish. With such an astonishing prize on the line, word travels quickly to all the sprightly young ninja as they enter the cook-off to nab the scroll for themselves. Of course, it's all a front, a scheme from a geezer who wants to see the girls traipsing around in sexy aprons, but you can't fault an old man for trying. The girls give it their all and set out to humiliate one another in the name of making their dreams come true, and that's where you come in. Once you've started the game proper, Story Mode is where you'll want to head first to unlock special outfits, accessories, and extra content. You can choose from a healthy amount of the Senran Kagura girls, like Asuka, Ikaruga, Hibari, Hikage, and the rest of the gang. Each girl is saddled with her own brief snippet of visual novel-styled narrative as to why she's pursuing the special scroll. Most are hilariously awful, littered with double and triple entendres that revolve around the male anatomy or breasts. Asuka is one of the worst perpetrators, but I was consistently astounded by the localization team's unmatched efforts to go the extra mile and ensure line after line was simultaneously corny and sexually charged. [embed]283649:56308:0[/embed] It's fairly impressive, to be honest, and despite how absolutely inane it can be, refreshing to see a game nearly devoid of male characters take casual racy speech and toss it out so carelessly. It may be considered fanservice "for men," but it certainly isn't the men the girls are not-so-subtly flirting with in-game, and that's something I can get behind. If I were a lesser person, that could have been a dirty remark, but I'll refrain for the purposes of this review. After you've chosen a girl you'll partake in a multi-stage cooking competition, which locks your girl in fierce combat with varying opponents. Like a racier Iron Chef, dishes are established at the beginning of the match for both parties to create, with both girls assigned a station and their own cooking tools and materials. Except you don't ever actually do any cooking. Instead, you whip up the tasty meals assigned to you by way of pressing buttons in time to the beat -- this is a rhythm game, after all. Near the bottom of the screen are two tiers where symbols corresponding to the Vita's face buttons appear. It's your job to hit them as the music plays, a la Bust A Groove or PaRappa the Rapper. Sometimes you'll need to tap the note until the number above it reaches zero. You'll have to hold notes occasionally as well, while tending to button presses above or below it. The directional buttons come into play as well, so you'll have to think fast when two are on-screen at the same time. It's quite challenging on the highest difficulty setting, especially when it comes to songs with a higher BPM, though you're never given the option to select a song for each stage. There are three breaks in each song where the judge (the lecherous Grandpa himself) takes a moment to sample the dishes you've crafted thus far, and if you've managed to keep your ninja's meter full (as opposed to your opponent's color filling the bar) you'll come out on top. If by the end of the match you've created the superior dish each time, you'll emerge victorious. At the end of each judging round, the player on the losing end of the battle will have her clothes ripped in strategic places a bit more each time until she's left totally naked but for chibi anime faces to cover up the naughty bits -- because we're not adults here or anything and a little bit of nipple is far more scandalous than making penis joke after penis joke -- but I digress. At the end of each song the victor is subjected to a "humiliating" pose in which they're drizzled with chocolate syrup or various dessert toppings as they pose sensually. And then it's gone, done, onto the next one, because if you want to see the rest of the characters, you've got to get to work unlocking them through Story Mode. Otherwise, you could choose Arcade or Free Play for the thrill of the rhythm game without the unlockables. Unfortunately, the game's biggest pitfall comes in the form of the songs themselves. They're not exactly what I'd call memorable, with tunes channeling wedding marches, bizarre Christmas-like holiday doppelgangers, and a cavalcade of instrumental (and occasionally vocal) songs that are instantly forgettable. While you're locked in a heated cooking battle, it's easy to forgive this fact, but the most basic building block of a rhythm game is its songs. These songs simply aren't strong enough to act as the backbone of a title that revolves solely around them. There are a couple with vocals that will at the very least stand out, but for the most part they feel like accompanying background tracks in any run-of-the-mill JRPG. Luckily, they're just rollicking enough to provide a challenge and I suppose that's all that's really warranted here, though some cutesy pop songs could have spiced things up considerably. Still, this is a surprisingly meaty title that'll have you coming back again and again to best one difficulty level after another, even if it's just to collect special accessories with which you can outfit your girls. They're hilariously pandering (I chose a military outfit paired with a pacifier and cat ears) but they do alter the way your girl appears in each scene, even when she's hard at work cooking. It also seems that band-aids are the lingerie of choice for most of the girls. Who knew? I was hoping for some hardcore BDSM gear to really round things out, but the best I could find was a collar. The outfits paired with dialogue snippets make for some side-splitting screenshots, but if you take them be forewarned that the Senran Kagura: Bon Appétit! logo will be superimposed at the bottom right of each one for some unknown reason. Everything in this strange little rhythm game comes together in some weird way, from the girls posing as desserts to the fact that this is a musical cooking competition. It's a fluffy bit of cotton candy that works well with the core cast of characters, and Senran Kagura devotees as well as rhythm game fans alike should find something to enjoy here, even if it's just the fact that nearly every character route has inappropriate banter.
Bon Appétit! Review photo
Light and delicious
Some may call Senran Kagura inherently tasteless, but the series of action-packed brawlers has depth and satisfying combat. The games have swept the handheld community mainly because of their increasingly risqué conten...

Senran Kagura Cooking photo
Senran Kagura Cooking

Senran Kagura Bon Appétit hits Vita on November 11

Feeling peckish? Pick up a Penguin!
Oct 21
// Kyle MacGregor
Senran Kagura Bon Appétit launches in North America on November 11, Marvelous announced today. The PlayStation Vita exclusive will then arrive in Europe the following day. The rhythm game is a spin-off of "the popular...

Review: Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus

Oct 14 // Brittany Vincent
Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus (Vita)Developer: Marvelous AQLPublisher: XSEED GamesReleased: October 14, 2014MSRP: $49.99 Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus explores the legendary shinobi, whose ninja (read: teenage girls) train in separate schools, one of which you’ll choose at the beginning of the game to follow through a special story mode and additional missions. You’ll be able to choose between 20 different brawlers in this third-person Dynasty Warriors-like adventure, where the order of the day is running your opponent into the dirt, slashing them up until you’re declared victor. This usually means your opponent has been left with shreds of her outfit left clinging to her body, humiliated on the field. Sound sexy? It’s a little more hilarious and over-the-top than sexualized, and that’s what makes the game work so well. That’s right, amongst double-doses of fanservice, bits of ecchi comedy sprinkled into several visual novel-styled expository scenes, and fragments of character development, you’ll pepper the unfortunate bad guys with light and strong attacks, dashes, and more. You’ll have the opportunity to rack up astronomical combos, in the neighborhood of 500-hit combos (and up) when you really get going. Or more, if you can stay in range of the several baddies tossed your way. The action is frenetic and furious, with combos performed via well-timed button presses and an advanced parry system that allows players who wish to delve further to defend themselves in a much more engaging manner. Juggling enemies with air dashes and ultimate attacks will keep you busy as well, but the fact of the matter is there’s plenty here to ensure you don’t get bored, even if it does feel repetitive as you continuously press the same buttons. There’s nothing groundbreaking about combat, but it feels satisfying all the same, especially when you watch that combo number rise all the way past 1000. It’s an addictive feeling, even if the banter between girls doesn’t quite make sense during combat, or when the arenas you’re fighting in feel constricted and narrow. As you fight you earn energy that can be unleashed via “Shinobi Transformations,” which allows for more powerful attacks. When your fighter takes enough damage, eventually her clothing and equipment will tear and deteriorate, leaving plenty of skin on display. Bouncing bosoms and pert bottoms can be seen everywhere, but the scenes that show them off are skippable. If it’s not something you want to stick around and see, you can skip past the transformation sequences themselves and get right back into battle. But if you want to get an eyeful, go ahead and soak it all in, because these scenes happen multiple times per battle. You can also go and view the character of your choice outside of battle just in case you didn’t get enough of them while locked in combat. When you’re not dueling with other shinobi or nameless bad guys, you can customize your characters as you level them up after each grueling battle with different hairstyles, clothes, and additional accessories. They’re fun to collect and can be quite silly when you head into battle, but keeping your favorite fighter decked out in different duds can be just as fun as beating the pants off your opponents — literally, of course. Or skirt. Or blouse, whichever the case may be. Unfortunately, this otherwise solid brawler is plagued by longer load times interspersed between campaign segments. Waiting to get started in the mission and waiting to restart is especially painful, and given the amount of action going on on-screen with some of these parts, it’s hard to understand why such long loading times are actually necessary. They’re a minor annoyance, granted, but still a gripe that players will no doubt notice. In many cases, the camera will also conspire to annoy the heck out of you with frustratingly obtuse angles, but luckily these bits can be worked around by manually fiddling with the analog stick. It’s important to note as well that Shinovi Versus looks and feels great. The cel-shaded character models are polished and move fluidly, and while there’s no English voice cast to choose from, the Japanese voice actresses do an excellent job, especially in terms of the “cute” factor you really need in games like these. You really feel as though you’re viewing a piece of animation, and it shows. It’s leagues ahead of Senran Kagura Burst in terms of both animation factor and content offering. If you’re a fan of the franchise or want to get in on some good, old-fashioned melee combat with undies and lady bits in between, Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus is a great place to start. Sure, it’s silly, superficial, and more than a little bit ridiculous, but that’s what makes it so darn fun. And if you dip into this Senran Kagura offering, chances are you’ll want to delve into the others as well. Buyers, don’t leave your Vita at home, ‘cause it’s Senran Kagura at night and it’s bouncin’, bouncin’.
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Bounce, baby, bounce, b-bounce, b-bounce
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